Duan Siping (Chinese: 段思平; pinyin: Duàn Sīpíng; IPA: [twân sí.pʰǐŋ]), also known by his temple name as the Emperor Taizu of Dali, was a Chinese monarch and politician. He was the founding emperor of the Dali Kingdom.[1] The Dali Kingdom would last until the Mongol conquest in 1253 led by Kublai Khan and its territories would later be ruled by the Yuan dynasty.[2]

Emperor Taizu of Dali
Emperor of Dali
SuccessorDuan Siying
Xizhou, Dali
Died944 (aged 50–51)
Era dates
Wende (文德; 937–944)
Posthumous name
Emperor Shengshen Wenwu
Temple name
Taizu (太祖)
FatherDuan Baolong
OccupationMonarch, politician
Duan Siping


The Duan family claimed descent from a Han family originating in Gansu province, although it is widely accepted that Duan Siping was a member of the Bai ethnic group.[3] The Dian zaiji (Chinese: 滇載記) records that Duan's ancestor was from Wuwei and, having assisted the Meng clan in battle, was awarded with political rank. However, "his descendant six generations later, Siping, was born under different omens."[4]

Duan was a governor of Tonghai County. Yang Ganzhen (Chinese: 楊干貞), ruler of the Great Yining kingdom, feared him and attempted to imprison.[5] Duan went into hiding and gathered soldiers and horses to fight. Allegedly, Duan was eating a wild peach, when he noticed two characters written on the fruit's skin: qing xi 青昔. Duan determined that the first character, qing, referred to the twelfth month, whilst the second, xi, indicated the twenty-first day. He understood this as an omen of when he should attack Great Yining.[6]



  1. ^ "民族博物馆_中国科普博览". www.kepu.net.cn.
  2. ^ Zhao (2002).
  3. ^ Mote (2003), p. 710.
  4. ^ “六传而生思平,思平生有异兆。” (Yang 1500s)
  5. ^ Yang 1500s.
  6. ^ “思平折之曰:「青乃十二月,昔乃二十一日。今杨氏政乱,吾当以是日举义乎?」”(Yang 1500s)


  • Mote, F. W. (2003). Imperial China: 900–1800 (2nd ed.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Zhao, Yinsong [赵寅松] (2002). "试论大理国的建立和段思平的出身" [Preliminary study of the founding of the Dali Kingdom and Duan Siping's ancestry]. 云南民族学院学报. 19 (5): 75–78.
  • Yang, Shen (1500s). 滇載記 [Records of Dian].